Consistency and Collaboration – Does inquiry mean everyone doing the same thing?

Over my years as a teacher I’ve often found myself teaching a twin.

So often the first thing I hear is ‘you better make sure that we are consistent otherwise the parents will compare…’

It always struck as such an odd piece of advice.

My experience of teaching twins is very often the children are very keen to forge their own identity independent of their brother or sister.

Yet  in schools we have the tendency to do the same thing.

We teach the same units.

We plan the same learning engagements.

Then the kids all complete the same summative task.

Consistency is highly valued.

That would be great if we all learned the same and taught the same.

Yet everyone, even twins, have different needs, interests and strengths.

So why do we insist that teachers do the same thing at the same time?

Because that inevitably ends up with learners doing everything the same.

At the beginning of the current unit, I wasn’t happy with the learning. The kids were learning lots of facts about body systems. It was fun, they enjoyed it. But something was missing. So I refocused my approach, switching the conceptual focus from function to causation and responsibility.

The unit came alive, I shared my findings with the other teachers. And we will approach this unit completely differently as a result of the experience. Our end of unit tasks will all address the same conceptual understandings yet the children are doing so from a slightly different perspective.

By innovating and sharing we can learn and grow together.


Learning needs to be personalised and meaningful for everyone – especially for the twins.



3 thoughts on “Consistency and Collaboration – Does inquiry mean everyone doing the same thing?

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  1. Great post, Stephanie!

    Having had discussions with an IB Evaluation Team during my last school’s Evaluation visit and Self Study, our visiting team spoke to my team about collaboration and how it could look. Their advice – plan the essential elements, the learning outcomes, the summative task and the initial provocations as a team, but after that, empower the students and their interests and questions to shape the inquiry. There is no need for every teacher and class to be teaching the same content.

    Liked by 1 person

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